How to Run with a Significant Other

My husband and I met through running.  Since our first-year anniversary was yesterday, I thought how to run with a significant other was a timely post.  Running with a spouse can be enjoyable if you let it.

How to Run with a Significant Other

Running is a hobby we’ve both shared.  We started running a long time before we knew each other, and there are very few spans of time we run the same pace, but it is enjoyable to share that time with him. Especially since oftentimes, running is free time. Instead of going for a long run alone, it can be enjoyable to do a training run with a spouse.

Some of the earliest dates were runs. I didn’t even say: “going to run with a boyfriend,” we were just college kids that liked running. Then we were close friends running together, then boyfriend and girlfriend, and now we are married.

These days,  we share quiet moments with uninterrupted conversation when running.  During this day and time, it’s hard to find these uninterrupted moments.

So how do you run with a significant other? 

First, set ground rules. This is true of any running partner or running group. You are still married, whether you run together or not. You might not follow the same training plan or run the pace; that’s why to run with a significant other, you must set ground rules.

Easy Mileage:

The best way to run with a significant other is easier non-pace-oriented mileage. For us, I’ll speed up my pace 10-15 seconds per mile, and he slows down a bit.  We agree we will try and meet halfway (see ground rules). We don’t do hard efforts together because our hard efforts, such as miles, repeat because our paces are not the same.

He is a faster runner than I am and also has different goals.  (I like 5k-13.1 while he likes trail running and 5k-10k).  Occasionally he will do a tempo run with me, but that is the extent of workouts together.


We like to sign up for races together.  The important part is we don’t race together.  This still counts as a run with a significant other. We will warm-up and cool down together, but we race to our own standards when the clock goes off. We are still training and racing together, but doing so to reach our own goals.

Racing for you is important because if one person is faster or feels good, it will create problems to stay on the course together.  Part of being with a fellow runner is that you can’t expect to stay together or feel the same every race.  We support each other, good or bad race. Post-run, we are still married. If you want to run with a significant other, that means an agreed staying together; more power to you!

There are some important things to remember:

Ultimately someone might feel good or better on a particular day.  That’s okay, and there is no reason to feel upset by it.  With any running partner, it’s important to remember that running is for you. Once you reach the finish line, you both love each other and love running. There is no point in holding anyone back.

Running and working out can be a great addition to any relationship, but your ability to run the same paces (or not) does define a relationship. Don’t force a run with a significant other and if you don’t enjoy it, do another hobby!

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

Who are your running partners?

Do you run with a significant other or run with a girlfriend or boyfriend?